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British Ecological Society;
Successful resource management relies on an understanding of the complex relationships between social and natural systems and their governance (Berkes et al., 2016). Taken together these interacting systems have been described as part of a social‐ecological system (SES). Here, natural system refers to the biological and physical (biophysical) system and is used interchangeably with ecological system or ecosystem. Social system is used to characterize the interactions within and among human communities and their institutions, particularly those related to resource governance. The SES framework was developed to explain the many complexities of these relationships, but also to characterize what contexts and processes could help improve the management of natural resources (Ostrom, 2009). More specifically, SES has been defined as 'a system that includes societal (human) and ecological (biophysical) subsystems in mutual interactions' (Harrington et al., 2010) or a system 'where social and ecological systems are mutually dependent' (Fidel, Kliskey, Alessa, & Sutton, 2014). Management is most successful when it maximizes the benefits that natural resources provide to people and human stewardship of the environment. To date, limited evidence linking conservation and natural resource management interventions to human well‐being exists (McKinnon et al., 2016). Monitoring must adapt to capture this complexity, and in particular, focus sharply on the interactions and interdependencies of natural and social systems. In the sustainability sciences, when monitoring is part of adaptive management, the purpose is to track ecosystem change over time, assess management implementation, and evaluate how well objectives were achieved (Kendall & Moore, 2012). Natural resource managers have monitored the biophysical status of ecosystems for decades; however, monitoring social systems has not been as well defined nor have the links between biophysical and social systems been adequately addressed (Wongbusarakum & Heenan, 2018). While conceptual frameworks for SES have advanced (Ostrom, 2009), practical approaches are needed to examine human–environment interactions in different contexts and specific scales (Fleischman et al., 2014; Kittinger, Finkbeiner, Glazier, & Crowder, 2012). Integration of monitoring efforts may enhance the understanding of human‐derived benefits from natural systems and improve natural resource management.
The reefs of Guam, a high island in the Western Pacific, were impacted by an unprecedented succession of extreme environmental events beginning in 2013. Elevated SSTs induced severe island-wide bleaching in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. Additionally, a major ENSO event triggered extreme low tides beginning in 2014 and extending through 2015, causing additional coral mortality from subaerial exposure on shallow reef flat platforms. Here, we present the results of preliminary analyses of environmental and biological data collected during each of these events. Accumulated heat stress in 2013 was the highest since satellite measurements began, but this record was exceeded in 2017. Overall, live coral cover declined by 37% at shallow reef flat sites along the western coast, and by 34% at shallow seaward slope sites around the island. Staghorn Acropora communities lost an estimated 36% live coral cover by 2017. Shallow seaward slope communities along the eastern windward coast were particularly devastated, with an estimated 60% of live coral cover lost between 2013 and 2017. Preliminary evidence suggests that some coral species are at high risk of extirpation from Guam's waters. In light of predictions of the near-future onset of severe annual bleaching, and the possibility that the events of 2013–2017 may signal the early arrival of these conditions, the persistence of Guam's current reef assemblages is in question. Here, we present detailed documentation of ongoing changes to community structure and the status of vulnerable reef taxa, as well as a critical assessment of our response protocol, which evolved annually as bleaching events unfolded. Such documentation and analysis are critical to formulating effective management strategies for the conservation of remaining reef diversity and function.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA);
The ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. Established in New York in 1866, the ASPCA is the oldest humane organization in the Western Hemisphere and now ranks among the largest in the world, providing local and national leadership in three key areas: caring for pet parents and pets, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals, and serving victims of animal cruelty.The ASPCA's 2011 Annual Report summarizes achievements in helping or saving animals by each ASPCA division, including Anti-Cruelty, Animal Health, Community Outreach, Government Relations, and Media & Communications. The Annual Report also includes information about the ASPCA's 2011 corporate partners and its foundation, corporate, and major individual donors, and presents highlights of the organization's $15.1 million in grantmaking during the year made possible by this support.